GAME NOTES: Wins in three of the last four outings have enabled Purdue to improve to 18-4 overall and 7-2 in Big Ten action. On Saturday, the Boilermakers bested Minnesota by a 73-61 final to move to 12-0 at home. Tonight, they will attempt to improve a rather lackluster 4-3 mark in true road affairs.
As for Wisconsin, it carried a three-game win streak into Saturday's road clash with Penn State. The Badgers seemed to have a comfortable lead in the second half, but they simply fell apart, allowing the Nittany Lions to earn a 56-52 triumph. While Wisconsin is just 2-4 in true road games, the team is a perfect 11-0 at home, obvious reason for confidence tonight.
Purdue owns a 103-63 series lead over Wisconsin, and the teams split a pair of meetings last season.
It is hard to find a duo nationally that has been better than JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore for Purdue. Johnson is scoring 20.7 ppg on 51.1 percent shooting from the floor, and he is ripping down 7.8 rpg to go along with 47 blocks. As for Moore, he is netting 17.5 ppg and has handed out 75 assists. The Boilermakers are averaging 74.4 ppg while limiting foes to 60.7 ppg, as they get the job done at both ends of the floor. Johnson was tremendous in Saturday's win over Minnesota, as he poured in 24 points in 40 minutes of action. Ryne Smith pitched in 15 points off the bench, and Lewis Jackson added 13 points to go along with five assists. Purdue hit 10 three-pointers in that clash and earned a 37-32 rebounding advantage. A 19-9 edge in bench points certainly played a role in the win for the Boilermakers.
Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor have been tremendously productive for Wisconsin this season. Leuer is averaging 19.2 ppg on the strength of his 45.1 percent shooting from three-point range, and he comes up with 6.8 rpg as well. Taylor checks in with 17.4 ppg on 40.6 percent accuracy from behind the arc, and he has handed out 90 assists. While Wisconsin is scoring 69.4 ppg, it is limiting opponents to 56.0 ppg on 40.2 percent shooting from the floor. Leuer scored 18 points against Penn State on Saturday, and Taylor added 16 points before fouling out. The Badgers shot 54.2 percent from the floor in the first half while limiting the Nittany Lions to 33.3 percent efficiency. Over the final 20 minutes, however, Wisconsin dropped to 32.1 percent shooting while permitting 63.2 percent shooting to Penn State.
Expect this game to go down to the wire, and give a narrow edge to Wisconsin, which will find a way to remain unbeaten at home.
GAME NOTES: A battle of Big Ten Conference heavyweights will ensue tonight in Madison, as the 19th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers play host to the 11th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers.
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kohl Center (17,142) -- Madison, Wisconsin. Television: ESPN. Home Record: Purdue 12-0, Wisconsin 11-0. Away Record: Purdue 4-3, Wisconsin 2-4. Neutral Record: Purdue 2-1, Wisconsin 2-1. Conference Record: Purdue 7-2, Wisconsin 5-3. Series Record: Purdue leads, 103-63.
Wisconsin 70, Purdue 66